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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Clients, the good, the bad and the ugly...

After a recent chat with a friend in the corporate world who was complaining that he have a boss from hell, i decided to write a light-hearted look at "bosses" in the world of photographers.

As with most things in life, when you work for/with people you have to be ready for disappointment. Some-one famous once said, "We all make mistakes, that's why there is a sharp end on a pencil and a eraser on the other end." -So much more when you get paid by them.

Search the internet under stories of brides told by photographers and you will eventually get to a section calling them "Bridezilla's",-as in the Godzilla-monster roaming in NY!

Now these beauties, all clad in white can really be the boss from hell if you don't handle her well.
Ask a seasoned wedding photographer and they will tell you stories to stop you dead in your tracks if you was to ever consider doing this for a quick buck.

On the money note; when you do a wedding, make sure you have the full amount, paid-up frond, before the wedding. Now, some will disagree but i have had couples saying they will pay after they return from honey moon, only to have no more money left to pay the photographer, whom had been working hard to give them the best possible product! And it is not like you can use the images for some-one or something els.

I red about a drunken father-in-law passing-out almost on top of the photographer in the passage in the church, and when the poor guy wanted to help him the Wicker tells him to leave the fellow there,he knows this chap and right there is the place where he won't bother the procession to much!

Myself once did a wedding as a photographer were the bride was pregnant and her family was so upset with the grooms family due to this, that i could not get a single smile from anyone that whole afternoon. The  one family was standing at the one side of the garden glaring, hands in sides, faggs in mouths at the other family on the other side of the garden!
Needless to say, when i handed over the wedding album it was my fault  why everyone was sooo serious and looked like they are not happy! Yes, weddings and the clients/bosses makes for interesting times.

Don't think when you do a shoot in studio everything go so smooth either, here you can also have a species of clients in a class of their own.

You get the ones whom are there on set from first light to last and want to see, approve and adjust EVERY shot. They are hardly ever 100% happy with the images and will adjust until finally they realize that the photog DID knew better in the first couple of shots and that his own idea was not so cool. They are also the one standing so very close to you during the shoot that you continuously stumble over them, they crowd you computer and at one stage take the mouse from your hand and start to click-away on the images, sometimes erasing them!

Then on the other extreme hand you get the clients that just wants to get through the shoot as quick as possible. We call them a 'fast and dirty' shoots. These guys, 'cause they usually are guys, can't understand why they have to actually pay you to "just press a little button." How-ever, as the shoot and the day continue they normally start to understand what it is you bring to the party and that is is not just pressing a little button. They are also normally the ones walking away from the shoot as a new client that will use you again and again and will trust your judgment.

When you walk with models it is a complete different can of worms altogether! Especially if they have not worked with the photog before. THEY know best! THEY want to tell the photog and client the best way to pose/to shoot/to light and THEY take over the whole shoot. That being said i have also worked with some of  the best, most decent models in the business who will help the photog in a big way to make the shoot and client go away as happy and professional as can be.

But, by far the most challenging shoots for a photog is the ones for a big client, i mean big, as in Coke Cola or a banking group or another international company. Because they are so big, they normally comes with a huge entourage. The Ad-Agency handling the account wants to be there, all 50 of them, there are make-up artist, animal handlers, models, assistant of the assistant and what-have-you-not there! Mostly the assistants are only there to see if they can't score a free meal and/or drink.

A good friend of mine did a shoot like this for 6 consecutive days last month like this. He said at the end he could only make 3 images a day! At one stage he counted 40 people in the studio! EVERY person there down to the car guard gave his inset on every shot!
After day one he was completely drained and from there-on stopped trying to control the shoot and just "pressed the little button" and worked the lights.

Food and drinks can disappear very quickly after the final shot as the assistants comes out of the frame-work.

What-ever your view or experience of cliental, the one can't do with-out the other and knowing how to deal with these people will certainly make live more easy.

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